Ralph H. Holtje, 66, a sanitary engineer and a retired specialist of water pollution control for the environmental Protection Agency, died Friday of a brain tumor at the Crrriage Hill nursing home in Silver Spring.

During his 22-year government career, Mr. Holtje's job was to see that federal installations met with water quality standards.

Before coming to this area in 1956, he worked for the public health departments of New Jersey and Indiana. He then worked for the U.S. Public Health Service, HEW's Federal Water Pollution Control Administration and Interior's Federal Water Quality Administration. When the EPA was created in 1970, he joined it as chief of the federal activities branch.

When he retired last year, he was part of a task force responsible for setting water pollution standards regarding toxic substances.

Mr. Holtje, who lived in Kensington, was born in Long Island, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Rutgers University.

During World War II, he was an Army sanitary engineer.

He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, the Federal Water Quality Association and the Amerian Water Works Association.

Survivors include his wife, Olive of the home; two sons, Nelson of Kensington, and Glenn, of Arlington; two daughters, Lynn Forconi, of Rockville, and Valerie Reynolds, of Deptford, N.J.; a brother, Harry, of Fort Lee, N.J.; three sisters, Agatha Davis, of West Palm Beach, Fla., Natalie Cornetsky, of Satellite Beach, Fla., and Eleanor Archetti, of Riviera Beach, Fla., and four grandchildren.